Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Walk in the Clouds to Unlimited Storage

Do you get tired of constantly having to upgrade to a bigger hard drive? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could have unlimited disk space? What if you could access your files from anywhere and any device? As a photographer I can’t tell you how invaluable this would be! Photos take up lots and lots of space. To get a good quality print just one photo can take 5mb of space and when you are dumping 150 photos onto your hard drive after every shoot, it doesn’t take long to fill it up.
A new beta software just might be the solution. It’s from a startup called Bitcasa; when you install it, the capacity of your computer's hard drive becomes, essentially, infinite! It is currently only available for Apple computers but a Windows version is in development; and plans of apps for mobile devices are in the works as well.

Bitcasa creates the illusion of unlimited hard drive space but the files are kept on a cloud server. Your computer will respond to opening any file as if it is local and there would be no wait for downloads, even videos!

Using a storage service is not a new concept. Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Docs, Amazon and countless others have been offering online storage for some time. But Bitcasa is not like any of those services. It doesn’t move files around or sync. Bitcasa doesn’t know what the file is, what the name is, what the contents are or anything about the file itself. It only deals in bits and bytes, the 1′s and 0′s of digital data. Data is encrypted on the client side. This is kind of like contemplating the universe for me because I am amazed that my photos can go from a picture to zeros and ones and back again.

Bitcasa is only $10.00 a month! Ten dollars for unlimited space? How can that be? Bitcasa CEO Tony Gauda says $10/month still gives the company large margins. The fact is, 60% of data is duplicate. For example, if I have an MP3 of the Foo Fighters new single and someone else has it too, those would be made up of the same zeros and ones. I think that’s amazing! Also times are hard so if $10.00 a month is hard to squeeze from your budget, a less than unlimited free version is on its way. Bitcasa will be free while in limited beta trials. You can sign up for access here.

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